Saturday, August 14, 2010

Surprise baby shower and missions training school

I wanted to post a few pictures of last night. Our family was invited over to our friends house for what we thought was hanging out but to our surprise they had planned a baby shower. Loriane did a wonderful job keeping it a secret and decorating. Moriah even knew I was clueless:) What a blessing it was for me Thank you guys I loved it.

We also are packing this weekend to start The school. We are moving in with a wonderful family I will try and get more pictures where we will be for 2 months. We are excited to see God work in our lives as we learn and grow during this school. Please pray for strength as we will be stretched and getting the kids back into a school routine. love Melissa

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Words fail

It is impossible to communicate all we are going through and learning. Mostly because we wouldn’t be able to describe it. The last two days I (Ben) went to a prison for boys 12-18 with Tim (pastor) and a group of guys from the church. In most ways it was no more or less hopeless than a prison in the united states, hurting people need Jesus and when you are broken to the point of causing destruction it always stands out.  In another ways it was very different. The boys only had a simple sweat suits and flip flops (with socks, I told Melissa a hundred times it doesn’t look weird to wear socks and flip flops). Not that different except it wasn’t any more than 40 degrees and there was no heat. Concrete benches, tables and families that felt little hope. Today I got to share about people in our family who have looked to Jesus and found hope.

As I prepared for today I was thinking about how just one month in, being a missionary is becoming a job like any other. The adventure begins to become normal. Working on the church is just something that needs done. Learning the language is a process and takes work. Everything becomes routine. Pastors, Missionaries, Teachers, Construction workers, we are all the same, we have a job. I began to realize the challenge we face isn’t to be spiritual enough to be good missionaries. It isn’t cultural, it isn’t language. It is the same challenge we all face. To love Jesus enough to stay a Christian. Its to love Jesus enough that it rubs off on others and they find grace. It doesn’t matter what you are doing we all face this challenge. We too often get caught up measuring our progress by knowledge, lack of sin, souls saved and forget to look at the one who saved us. I was sharing out of John 3:14-19. I was reading where Jesus compared himself to the serpent Moses lifted up in Numbers 21 (I think that is the right chapter). We are all bit by sin in a world full of more vipers waiting to bite us. All we have to do is look to Him, but too often we are looking at the things around us. I recently read Crazy Love by Francis Chan. He talks about how when we are in love we tirelessly pursue. He talks about loving Jesus that way. Instead of running from sin, or trying to become smart we should tireless run to Him out of love.

As I prepared I was realizing how important it is to look to the cross for every decision. Every interaction, every relationship, every hardship. Look up at the cross. Let it permiate who you are, change your thoughts, your actions, your love for others. It doesn’t matter what you are doing with your life, it matters who you pursue.

Oh and here are pictures of us and the kids working on the church, going to an evangelistic thing and other stuff.